Former Egyptian President Muhammad Mursi has died. He collapsed and died in connection with a trial this afternoon.
Muhammad Mursi became Egypt’s first elected president. He was elected in 2012 after the previous president, Hosni Mobarak, the year before was forced away after popular protests.
But after a stormy year marked by violent demonstrations, an incipient economic crisis and in-depth divisions in Egyptian society, culminating in deadly mass protests against him, he was deposed by the army in July 2013. After just one year at the presidency.
He was imprisoned and has since been brought to justice in a number of trials. He has, among other things, been sentenced to death for involvement in a prison rebellion, but that judgment was appealed and withdrawn pending a new trial. However, he served long prison sentences for other judgments, including 20 years of imprisonment for involvement in the murder of protesters in December 2012.
It was also in the courtroom, accused of espionage, that he collapsed today.
According to witnesses, he had kept a speech when he suddenly fainted in the cage in the courtroom where the defendants are held.
He was quickly taken to hospital in Cairo where he was declared dead ten minutes in five local times. He was 67 years old.
Muhammad Mursi was, for a long time, one of the leaders in the Islamic Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. An organization that, after the military’s takeover of power, was stamped and banned, but Mursi was still popular in Islamist circles and is taught as a martyr by many supporters.
Turkish President Erdogan was quick to convey his condolences and called Mursi just martyr, he accused what he called the “tyrannical leadership” of Mursi’s death.
The Muslim Brotherhood calls his death a “slow murder” after the authorities denied him basic rights in prison. They have called for a mass gathering in connection with the funeral and demonstrations outside Egyptian embassies and consulates.
The Egyptian Ministry of the Interior has ordered increased readiness.
However, Mursi’s death does not significantly affect the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. After his imprisonment, they have gone underground and formed a new leadership.
Muhammad Mursi’s cause of death is still unclear, a first examination of the body showed no visible errors. Mursi, on the other hand, is said to have been denied adequate medical care in the prison.